MILTON - Police are asking the public to keep an eye out for suspicious activity around mailboxes after 31 reports of checks being stolen from various mailboxes around town over the past three months.
The stolen checks are being altered to be made payable for large sums and cashed throughout the state at different financial institutions, police said in a Facebook post on Friday. So far, more than $100,000 has been fraudulently obtained through the scheme.
Police said the thefts have taken place from the postal service's standard collection boxes, tamper-resistant collection boxes, as well as residential mailboxes.
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Police recommend using online banking services or hand-delivering letters directly to the post office to avoid being a victim of the thefts.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which has jurisdiction over crimes involving the mail system, recommends placing mail in collection boxes as close to the posted collection time as possible, picking up mail promptly, inquiring about overdue mail and not mailing cash as other ways to deter thefts.
Thefts of checks from mail collection boxes has become a growing problem, with cases reported in Milton and Scituate in 2020. Similar thefts have taken place in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New Hampshire in recent weeks.
Anyone with information regarding the thefts is asked to contact Det. Gennes Seaton at 617-898-4837 or email@example.com or Det. Valter Pires at 617-898-4837 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call the Milton Police Department tip line anytime at 617-698-COPS.
This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Milton police investigating rash of mailbox thefts